Americans, Brits, and Norwegians disagree about Steven Van Zandt’s new production set in Norway, reports say.
First screened on NRK last month, it originally looked as though the series, made by external production company Rubicon TV, would not be transmitted amongst worries over product placement.
Publication The New York Times has called Steven Van Zandt “the David Hasselhoff of Scandinavia”, which is due to first screen in the US via streaming video on Netflix, Monday.
The American newspaper’s review of drama "Lilyhammer" said the series “...tries to combine elements of American mob stories and Scandinavian mysteries, seasoned with frequent overt references to “The Sopranos”, calling the first episode’s mixture “pretty flat”.
Reviewers also stated that the switch between English and Norwegian in the dialogue could lead viewers feeling distracted.
““Lilyhammer” is most distinctive simply for being a foreign show presented in its original form, with subtitles (though a good share of the dialogue, including nearly all of Mr. Van Zandt’s, is in English). That’s something virtually unheard of on mainstream American television.”
Meanwhile, ‘over here’, the drama series received the highest ratings for a drama premiere and was a success. It is now set to be shown on BBC Four, whose staff were enthusiastic.
““Lilyhammer” mixes sharp wit and American big city ways with the beauty of the Norwegian mountains and folksy nature of a small town – a perfect combination for a razor-sharp drama about cultural mores,” controller of BBC4, Richard Klein, told The Guardian newspaper.
According to Sue Deeks, head of the broadcaster’s programme acquisitions, “"Lilyhammer” is fresh, funny and offbeat – it makes a highly original addition to BBC4's rich Scandinavian drama slate."